By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – You can’t win ‘em all, so they say, and if you’re a Boston basketball fan, that can be a tough fact to accept. There have been very few years over the past six decades where the Celtics didn’t have at least a reasonable chance of winning it all.

But this year has been a test – and in some ways a memorable lesson – for Celtics fans like yours truly.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

We knew they were going to be bad this year – no rebounding, little defense, thin talent. It was an obvious part of a business plan no real fan of the team opposed – losing enough games to secure a top position in the next NBA draft, where our two first-round picks can provide a crucial boost to the roster going forward.

With the final game still to come, it looks like mission: accomplished for the Celts.

They have a wretched 25-56 won-lost record, likely good enough for a very high draft pick, and even worse than the Lakers, which in this case is a good thing.

But if it’s possible to lose 56 of 81 games and preserve your self-respect, the Celtics have done it.

They played hard almost all of the time, and kept most games close, even when clearly overmatched. They were outplayed, but not outclassed.

All that losing, but the fans seem satisfied, and the future is bright.

Of course they’d prefer to be winning. But could it be there’s more to life at any given moment than that?

The Celtics have a long-term plan for collective progress that might mean less profit for a few years but holds the promise of extra profits for all down the road. What a world this might be if more businesses tried that approach.

Next thing you know, the cliché will be – to the loser belongs the spoils.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.


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